Tip

The best way to move data, part one

Moving data is a constant struggle for most storage departments. Sluggish applications need to move to faster disks for better performance. Rarely accessed data needs to move in the other direction -- to less-expensive ATA disks, CD-ROM or tape. If not handled judiciously, data migrations can cause application outages and server reboots, resulting in 2:00 a.m. work sessions.

There are many methods at different price points to move data. Some organizations may be able to simply use the move command that comes with every operating system. Others may need standalone utilities and network- and host-based approaches to get data from point A to point B. What's the best way to move data? To determine which method suits your needs, consider the following:

  • Type of application and data

  • Impact on application performance

  • Storage infrastructure

  • Network throughput

  • CPU and memory consumption

  • Affected users

    Once you document your storage environment against this list (see "Data migration checklist"), pick a migration tool. Migration utilities operate at the host, network and array level. Each approach comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, host-based commands like move should only be used for files not in use. Third-party, host-based utilities like NSI

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